Culpeper Star-Exponent: U.S. Chamber of Commerce gives Spanberger bipartisanship award


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has bestowed its first-ever Jefferson-Hamilton Award for Bipartisanship on U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., for her work with GOP lawmakers.

The chamber bases its award on how many bills a member of Congress cosponsors that were introduced by a member of the opposite political party. Except, that is, for bills formally opposed by the chamber.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Suzanne Clark and Chamber Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley presented Spanberger with the honor on Tuesday during the chamber’s first Governing with Distinction Ceremony, which was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The award was given to the top 10 U.S. senators and top 20 House members, as analyzed by the chamber and apportioned by party.

“Now more than ever, our nation needs elected leaders like Congresswoman Spanberger who have the courage to pursue common ground and bold, bipartisan solutions to America’s greatest challenges,” Chamber President Suzanne Clark said in a statement. “These awards honor the deserving members of Congress that are forging common-sense solutions, working across the aisle, to enact lasting and meaningful reforms. In the days ahead, Congress must work together and support our nation’s free-enterprise principles that will help bring our economy back to strength and put our people back to work.”

Since taking office in January 2019, Spanberger has prioritized building coalitions with GOP colleagues on a wide variety of issues. Her bipartisan efforts include helping pass the United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement, signed into law by President Donald Trump, in late 2019.

“Lawmakers should focus on building strong coalitions, including across the aisle, as they create, draft, and develop effective legislation,” the 7th District Democrat said. “… I’ve been proud to support legislation that will benefit communities across the Seventh District—and many of these wins can be traced back to the hard work of broad, bipartisan coalitions.”’

Her constituents in Central Virginia expect Spanberger to work with all House members, regardless of party affiliation, to expand opportunities for their businesses and families, Spanberger said.

“I’m committed to following through on that promise,” she said.

Last month, the Lugar Center and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy ranked Spanberger as one of the top five most bipartisan Democrats in the U.S. House and the most bipartisan member of its Virginia delegation.

Last December, President Trump signed into law Spanberger’s legislation—which she introduced with U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX-23)—to combat Central American trafficking and smuggling networks and strengthen U.S. border security.

The president also signed into law an amendment introduced by Spanberger and former U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11), now Trump’s White House chief of staff, to help the U.S. Department of Defense stop the use of its internet networks to possess, deliver or obtain child pornography.

Click here for the full list of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 bipartisanship award winners.


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